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Richard "Ricki" Lloyd Herbert (born April 10, 1961) is a former New Zealandmarker football player who represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain. He is currently head coach of both the New Zealand national team, and A-League club side Wellington Phoenix.

Playing career

Herbert represented New Zealand at various age group levels and gained 61 full international caps from 1980–1989, scoring seven goals.

Herbert made his full international debút in a 4-0 win over Mexico on 20 August 1980 at the age of 21, and featured in all 15 matches of the All Whites’ World Cup qualifying campaign which for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spainmarker. Herbert was a substitute for the loss against Scotland, but was reinstated to the starting eleven for both USSR and Brazil as New Zealand failed to claim any points in their first World Cup finals appearance.

At club level, he represented a number of teams in his homeland and played in the Australian league. He had his greatest success with Mt Wellington AFC where he won three league championships during two spells with the club and two Chatham Cup triumphs.

He also had a spell in English football with Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1984–86, where he made 49 appearances in total. He was signed by manager Tommy Docherty who had previously coached Herbert while manager of Sydney Olympic. However, his time at the club coincided with them sliding down the leagues; Herbert was part of the team relegated to the third tier in 1985, but left in March 1986 shortly before a successive relegation after falling out with new manager Sammy Chapman.

Coaching career

Early Career

Herbert began his coaching career at Papakura City AFC in 1990, before taking over at neighbouring Papatoetoe AFC in 1993. From 1996 he took charge of Central United in the National Summer League, finishing mid table in his first season in charge. In both 1997 and 1998, Herbert took Central United to victory in the Chatham Cup and finished a close second in the league. In 1999, New Zealand reverted to separate North Island and South Island leagues, with the winners of each playing off for title of New Zealand Champion. Central United, winners of the North Island Soccer League, defeated the South Island winner, Dunedin Technical, 3–1, after extra time, in the championship final.

New Zealand

Oly-Whites and U17

Herbert's domestic success attracted attention from NZ football association, and in 1999 he was appointed coach of the under-23 Oly-Whites qualifying campaign for the Sydney Olympics. An appointment of assistant national coach followed in 2001. In 2003 Herbert took charge of the New Zealand U-17 team.

As Director of Technical Development, Herbert was again responsible for New Zealand Olympic campaign in 2004, although they failed to qualify for the finals in Athens.

National Team

Herbert was appointed All Whites coach on 25 February 2005, replacing Mick Waitt after being his assistant since 2003, with his first game in charge being scheduled in June that year as a friendly against arch rival Australia.As national coach, the All Whites won their first match in Europe when beating Georgia 3–1 in Germany in May 2006. On that tour, which included a 4–0 loss to Brazil, the All Whites drew 1–1 with Estonia in Tallinn.Herbert was honoured New Zealand Coach of the Year for 2007. Herbert led the New Zealand national football team to the victory in the 2008 OFC Nations Cup, qualifing for the for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. Herbert is the second manager to take New Zealand to the Fifa World Cup when his side qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup by winning World Cup qualifying play-off agaisnt Bahrain. Herbert stated on Espn Soccernet PressPass that he would love for New Zealand to be drawn in the same group as England

New Zealand Knights

In December 2006, after FFA announced that it had revoked the 2006 season A-League licence held by the Knights' owners, Herbert took over the reins of the now defunct New Zealand Knights under an arrangement between the FFA and NZ Soccer whereby the national body would step in to manage the club to meet their commitments for the remaining five games of the season. In that time the franchise won three matches, drew one and lost to competition winners Melbourne Victory.

Wellington Phoenix

In 2007 the new A-League franchise, Wellington Phoenix was granted a three-year license, and owner Terry Serepisos and Herbert immediately confirmed as head coach.

Personal life

Herbert holds a UEFA 'A' International Coaching Licence, and is one of the 2007–08 intakes of the UEFA 'Pro' International Coaching Licence course which will finish in June 2008.

A biography of Herbert's life, A New Fire, written by Russell Gray, was published in New Zealand by Harper Collins in 2009.



  • New Zealand Young Player of the Year: 1980
  • New Zealand coach of the year: 2007


Mt Wellington AFC

Sydney Olympic FC
  • Australian National Soccer League Cup: 1983

As manager

Central United


  1. Head Coach Ricki Herbert Comments
  2. Herbert Takes the Reins
  3. Ecstasy for All Whites as Coveny Double Sinks Georgia
  4. All Whites Making Hay in Europe
  5. web|url=|title=Honours Lists|author=|publisher=The Ultimate New Zealand Soccer Website|date=|accessdate=2008-08-06}}
  6. Knights Have Licence Revoked by Soccer Body
  7. White Knight to Wellington's Rescue
  8. Wellington Phoenix Coaching Staff
  9. Roy Keane to study the All Blacks
  10. Herbert, Keane to link up

External links

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